No matter how hard we try, it is almost inevitable that mutual injuries happen in a partnership. However, for a permanently happy relationship, it is immensely important to find ways to make peace with what has happened. But how can forgiveness succeed? Liebling & Schatz knows what to do.


  • Forgiveness is a decision
  • Why do we find it difficult to forgive?
  • Forgiveness can be learned

From forgetting an appointment to having an affair – the reasons for injuries in a relationship are diverse and weigh differently depending on individual feelings, one’s own values and one’s own biography. The fact is, what happened can no longer be undone. It is also a fact that as long as an “incident” is not really and wholeheartedly forgiven, the injury continues to have an effect under the surface even in an otherwise happy relationship and can gradually distance a couple from each other. However, why it is so important to forgive your partner and what this has to do with our own healing, we would like to shed light on in this blog post.

Forgiveness is a decision

One thing in advance: If we forgive our counterpart, this does not automatically mean that we approve of what the person has done. Forgiveness is much more an inner attitude and a process. If we go into forgiveness, we can eventually let go of all the ruminations and blame in the relationship that actually hurt us the most and throw us out of our inner balance.

"Be good to yourself and forgive others"

Not only the Buddhists have known it for a long time, scientific studies also show that our health suffers in the long run if we do not forgive. But they also prove that anger, anxiety disorders and lack of self-esteem get better when we forgive.

Why is it still so difficult for us to forgive?

With all the hurt, we often stand in our own way. The thought that your partner could repeat his or her behavior if you forgive him or her inhibits many people in such a situation. It is also not uncommon for ego and one’s own pride to play a major role at this point. In addition, forgiveness is somehow a rather neglected and untrained part of society – because, hand on heart: do you know many good role models who showed you how to forgive as a child?

It is important to note that forgiveness does not mean that a relationship must be continued in any case. On the contrary: the person doesn’t even have to know that we want to forgive him or her and we don’t need to see him again if we don’t want to. First and foremost, you do something good for yourself with forgiveness – you give yourself inner peace. And the latter has a positive effect on all our relationships and areas of life.

Forgiveness in a partnership can be learned

“Forgiveness is a skill that partners have to acquire sooner or later in order to be happy in their relationship in the long term,” said psychologist Friederike von Tiedemann once in an interview with the Catholic Counseling Center for Marriage, Family and Life Issues. If you are in the situation where you know that you want to hold on to the partnership, but there is something that you just can’t forget, the following concrete tips for the process of reconciliation according to psychologist Friederike von Tiedemann may help you AND your partner:

  1. Talk about what hurt. With your counterpart, it’s first and foremost about listening. Possible justifications for the behavior should be left out for the time being, rather it is a matter for the partner to recognize the pain he or she has caused.
  2. Decision: It takes a decision or a genuine willingness from both partners to make peace with what has happened. The “causer” clearly asks for forgiveness and the other person communicates that he really wants to forgive and that he or she no longer blames what was.
  3. Change of perspective: Try to put each other in each other’s perspective. It is about being able to understand what was going on in the other person in this situation. To be able to empathize with what was so difficult for the injured person and to express this verbally. Example: “It touches me that I hurt you so much with this – and I’m very sorry.”
  4. (Optional) To add an action: If the injury is very severe, you could think of some kind of reparation so that the “perpetrator” makes an effort and, for example, relieves the injured partner of certain tasks for a limited time. This action is a compensation for what has happened – this can also make it easier to forgive.

Give yourself time: Sometimes things just don’t go so fast and the person who carries the injury still needs time to be a little “angry” with the other person. Perhaps set yourself a time frame so that you can then also say: Now is good.

If you notice that you are stuck in a spiral of blame or feel such a strong inner resistance, it can be helpful to organize your thoughts and feelings within couples counseling and to open yourself up to new perspectives.

Based on our practical experience, we at Liebling + Schatz can say that it is worthwhile to take this path of reconciliation process. It is even possible to create even more closeness and an even deeper connection within the relationship. If you would like our support, contact us!

Would you like to learn more about couples therapy with us? Then feel free to take a look here.

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